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A Verbal Exchange With An Officer Does Not Justify An Arrest, Says Lawyer

A cyclist claims she was falsely arrested by the NYPD after an undercover officer nearly knocked her down with a car door

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – In an apparent case of false arrest by New York police, a cyclist claims she was arrested for criticizing a plainclothes cop who almost doored her. According to the NYPD, she was arrested after supposedly running a red light on her bicycle.

The cyclist, Christina Thede, said she didn’t run a red light at all.

Cyclist message boards reflected outrage at this apparent civil rights violation in New York.

Arrests for talking back to police officers or being otherwise disrespectful are sometimes known as ‘contempt-of-cop’ arrests.

“A contempt-of-cop arrest is a civil rights violation in New York,” civil rights violation lawyer David Perecman explained. “Officers who have arrested people for talking back to them have been found liable for false arrest and for violating civil rights and constitutional rights, including the First Amendment right to free speech.”

According to New York magazine, Thede alleges she was biking home when the driver’s side door of a double parked car opened suddenly and almost hit her. She broke so suddenly a delivery biker behind her ran into her. She had a verbal exchange with the driver and then continued riding.

The man got back into his car and followed her. She said she had no idea this man was an officer of the law, and she was scared. She made an evasive maneuver on her bike before getting off it and walking it onto the sidewalk. This is when he grabbed the back of her bike and started pulling it, she said, and at no-time did he say he was a police man.

Thinking he was a crazy person, she screamed for help and he restrained her in a way she couldn’t move. Then an NYPD squad car arrived and the cyclist initially thought that they were going to save her.

But instead of handcuffing the man, the police arrested Thede and charged her with reckless operation of a bicycle and disorderly conduct. She spent about an hour at the NYPD station house. There, Thede said, the officer who arrested her said that when she went around the door of his car to continue, it was reckless because she was going into traffic. She said, she came to a complete stop, exchanged words with him, and then rode around his still-opened door.

The New York police officer said he arrested Thede because he was concerned for his safety.

New York civil violations lawyers at The Perecman Firm stand up for New York civil rights violations and victims of police misconduct in New York, including police brutality, use of excessive force and false arrest.

“While the details of the case are still to come, it is important to note that the NYPD is responsible for training and supervising its officers to eliminate any patterns of abusive, unconstitutional behavior in New York,” civil rights violation lawyer Perecman said.


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